Detroit’s two most violent precincts saw a significant drop in violent crime this summer, as well as a citywide drop in violent crime compared to last year, law enforcement officials announced this week.
At a press conference held Wednesday, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Dawn Ison credited the city’s “One Detroit” initiative – a coalition of federal and local law enforcement agencies and community leaders launched earlier this year – for the decline. The initiative aims to reduce violent crime in the city’s 8th and 9th precincts through community outreach efforts, encouraging harsher penalties for the most violent individuals in federal court when possible, and reducing recidivism by working directly with new parolees.
From June 1 to Aug. 31, there was an approximate 20% reduction and 11% reduction in target violent offenses in the 8th and 9th precincts, respectively, and a nearly 6% reduction citywide compared to the same time last year, according to Detroit Police Department statistics. As of Sept. 20, homicides are down from 216 to 196 this year – totaling to 20 fewer victims – while nonfatal shootings have declined 8.2%, or 60 fewer victims.
“We have so much more work to do,” Ison said on Wednesday. “But the fact of the matter is, we won’t stop. We won’t stop doing this work until we can even make these numbers better. But we’re encouraged by the numbers we have here.”
Additionally, efforts by One Detroit resulted in 22 defendants being charged with federal firearms offenses including being a felon in possession of a firearm, illegal possession of a machine gun, possession of a stolen firearm and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. Of those charged, 13 defendants have been detained pending trial, three defendants have pleaded guilty to charges, and 18 defendants are pending trial, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Michigan reported.
While there continues to be much room for improvement, Detroit Police Chief James White said at the press conference he is encouraged by the numbers and thinks the partnership with state and federal agencies is working.
“I do believe that Detroit has turned a corner on violence,” said White, adding: “We have a lot of work to do. No one’s taking a victory lap right now, there’s just still too much violence in our community.”